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The Hanging Tree

Rivers of London, Book 6
Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Series: Rivers of London Series, Book 6
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (3,679 ratings)

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Summary

Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty's daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour.

Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we're talking about.

He's been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect. Assuming he survives the week....

Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

Features an audio-exclusive interview with Ben Aaronovitch and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

©2016 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Hanging Tree

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

As usual, a great read.

I love Kobna reading these books - he really makes the story live. This book progresses Peter's story well. The only criticism is nothing to do with the book, but with the way that whoever arranges the audio book has not thought about the placement of the interview with Ben and Kobna. It should come after the acknowledgements read by Kobna - instead the loud harsh voice of the interviewer comes straight in after the very quiet ending of the story - it is very jarring, and such a contrast to Kobna's quiet voice, so be prepared!! It gave me such a fright as it was so unexpected. Chapter 17 is the interview.

19 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Confused

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I feel that I must have missed big parts of this book, but when listening again I find I have not. This book has left me slightly confused. With all of the other books the scene has been set and you can set play on your 'imagination video' and as Kobna reads the book you can visualise what is happening. With this book it was totally lacking.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ben Aaronovitch again?

Of course, I love this series, its just this book didnt light my fire as much as the others.

What does Kobna Holdbrook-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Ahhhh Kobna, I love his voice, I could listen to him read the AA road Map!

Any additional comments?

I'm going to listen to the whole series again - because I can and you hear something new every time. Please please, if you have just discovered this book on audible, don't buy it, go to the first book, buy that and work your way through the series. Honest its worth it.

14 people found this helpful

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Another great story but...

Where's the fun jazz intro before each chapter gone? (Insert sad face emoji here). I really enjoyed this one though - things are really hotting up now!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Procedurally brilliant. More things explode

Another great dive into the Met & Folley. Great addition to the series. Brilliantly read

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magical London gets bigger and better

I feel like I've been waiting AGES for this (mainly because I have) and then it was over really quickly (mainly because I binge listened in a few sessions) The story is moving on: things are revealed with new characters and old. Some seemingly random people and events from previous books are suddenly significant. More Guleed which is excellent. Nightingale gets more magisterial (magusterial?). We learn more about magic and London history. What's not to love?

DO NOT listen to this until you have read/listened to all the preceding books. This is not a stand alone title. Maybe give the comics a go too. The latter are not essential but a few events from them are referred to in passing and, although this does not affect the ongoing story, it's always good to be an obsessive completist.

Kobna Holdbrook Smyth is excellent as ever. I enjoyed the interview at the end where David Aaronovitch reveals that he writes some accents just to see how Kobna handles them. At any rate, his voice is now and forever that of Peter Grant.

4 people found this helpful

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It's been worth the wait...

Lovely - Ben Aaronovitch has put a bit more muscle into the story arch, fleshed out the minor characters (past AND present), and has woven tantalising threads through the fabric of the main character that may, or may not, bear fruit in future episodes. I love it when I sense a variety of possible future outcomes.

The story unfolds at a very fast pace, yet the characters are always given just enough time to develop without any sense of being rushed. I loved the sprinkling of magical back history throughout the previous books and wasn't disappointed with this volume. And, as always, I especially love the way that Ben Aaronovitch give as much effort to crafting the past and present background, geographically speaking, as he does to his characters.

And as to the performance by Kobna Holbrook-Smith...I love, love, love it. Kobna REALLY brings the story alive with such passion and humour. His timing is amazing.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story and the performance.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Acronyms ...

I struggled to work out some of the acronyms that litter the story but perhaps there's a glossary in the actual book?

Also found it hard to recall what happened in the last book as it's quite a long time since I listened to it.

And what a sudden ending! I thought something had gone wrong when the voice of the woman interviewing the author and the reader piped up.

I really like KH-S reading these stories and generally enjoy them but this one seemed to finish shortly after it got going.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Left too much hanging

I was really enjoying this book - Kobna Holbrook-Smith is always a pleasure to listen to and I love the Rivers series) - then it seemed to stop rather abruptly with rather too many loose ends left dangling, as though the author decided that was enough for one book and he'd just stick the rest in the next one. I appreciate that you need to leave your readers hanging to maintain interest, but unlike previous books it seemed as though nothing at all was resolved in this one. Perhaps Hanging Tree was an appropriate title, but I would have like at least some of the story lines to come to a conclusion. Yes, my interest is piqued sufficiently to continue to the next book, but I'm left slightly dissatisfied with this one, like The Empire Strikes Back.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Steeped in the mystical

What made the experience of listening to The Hanging Tree the most enjoyable?

The narrator is particularly suited to this series and the wide range of accents that he has really lends authenticity to the story.

Any additional comments?

Peter is back and so is the faceless man. Set deep in the mysteries of London, the Hanging Tree is both the name of a pub and a relic of bygone criminal action. It seems only fitting that an officer of the law should look there for clues. Peter once again risks his life and several blocks of prime real estate to neutralise the bad guys and as always, he does it with style.
Peter is one of my all-time favourite characters and I always look forward to Aaronovitch’s unique London style. The characters are well built and are particularly expressive when it comes to British wit. The mix of ancient London architecture, history, and myths and legends make the books really come alive, not to mention the lively natural element that the rivers bring. Nightingale enables the reader to get an understanding of the immense scale of the world that Aaronovitch has created, giving the story a depth in time.
If you get the chance to listen to the audio version, which I highly recommend, you will not be disappointed. The narrator has a distinctive style and really embodies Peter’s character.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • P2
  • 27-11-16

Left hanging?

The book started very well and felt as if it would return the the excellent form of the earlier books in the series. I enjoyed the humour and the mix of characters. However, the ending is such a disappointment. It felt as if it had been finished for a particular deadline, rather than being brought to a proper conclusion in its own right. I can appreciate that certain threads of the story have to be left so that they can be picked up in the next book, but everything was rushed, bundled up in a most unsatisfactory way. I shall undoubtedly read the next one when it appears, but with less of the pleasurable anticipation with which I awaited this one. Perhaps the next should be the last.

5 people found this helpful

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  • leefis
  • 30-09-17

Best Narration that I have heard for an Audiobook.

The Narrator’s voice and way of reading fit my picture of the main character perfectly. His reading of the story is so smooth, well paced, and well acted that I could completely fall into the story while listening.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Coral
  • 30-11-16

If you are a fan then you know

Would you consider the audio edition of The Hanging Tree to be better than the print version?

I love Kobna Holbrook-Smith and I think he embodies all of the series so I don't read the print version

What other book might you compare The Hanging Tree to and why?

Sort of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Have you listened to any of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He is fantastic

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Loved it but I love the series

Any additional comments?

Get it read it listen to it and if you haven't started the series I'm envious I wish I hadn't read/listened to it because then I could do it again

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lawrence Dembo
  • 13-02-20

All the big names are back

My favourite so far. All the big names. I missed you Stephanopolous! Brilliant narration. Cool story. Cool history of London. Next one downloaded already.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-02-20

I am the most unlikely person to become such a fan

Up front I must confess anything (book, film, audio) with supernatural and/or magic theme has been dismissed by me as unsuitable adult fare. sure, take nephews or nieces to Harry Potter, but thats it. I'm more Nelson de Mille, Gerald Seymour, Barry Eisler - that kind of thing. I got a freebie short about a library and, stuck in Friday night traffic, gave it a go. well, I'm on book 6 or 7 or something now. I have to say the choice of voice actor is huge in this- his performance has made PC Grant feel real and someone youd crack a beer with and watch the rugby. The series have all been great; Ive enjoyed some others, but none have disappointed. Give them a go, but dont be surprised if you end up with all in the series. You have been warned

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-19

Now I have to wait to hear what's next!

Always expect the best from Ben Aaronovitch and again... Not disappointed. Had me hanging on every word. Great suspense and action.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire
  • 30-11-16

Read in Order, whatever you do!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I wouldn't recommend this one directly, but the series? Most DEFINITELY. It's quirky, clever and has so many laugh out loud moments ,this is my most looked forward to series. This book HAS to be read in order. I hadn't caught up on the story before starting in on this one, and I was a little lost with the constant referring to past events. It's a good story regardless, but one of my least favourite of the series

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I was a little lost with the referring to past books. There needed to be a little more context given to past events. Otherwise, it was a good book. The story felt a bit disjointed, and didn't have a clear engaging story line that caught me, but it wasn't bad or boring at all.

What does Kobna Holdbrook-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He has an unreal talent to switch between characters and accents. He is probably my favourite narrator, along side Sebastian York - who has the sexiest voice ALIVE

Any additional comments?

This is such a fun quirky series. Start at the beginning, and listen to it. The narration brings it alive in a way you wouldn't believe. The only thing that set this back from 5 stars for me, was the storyline not being "bowl me over amazing" like the others I've read, but still, decent.

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  • Eileen
  • 01-12-16

I adore this series!

I wish they came out every month rather than every year! They stories are great fun and Kobna Holbrook Smith brings them to life brilliantly.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erik
  • 30-11-16

Good story and praise to the auther

Good story, fun narrating with good use of London slang and dialects
Praise to the author for gathering threads from earlier books, but without closing them all.
He also did a good job of avoid powercreep, what have become stronger in this story is not the protagonist, but police organization behind him (it opens also up for new problems).